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Imf 4, Gibson 3, Miliband 3, Greece 3, Us 3, Northern Ireland 3, London 3, Bskyb 2, Millie Doweler 2, Britain 2, Scotland 2, Afghanistan 2, Mr. David Morris 1, Dave B. Perkins 1, Teresa Pierce 1, Margaret Beckett 1, Ronnie Campbell 1, David Cameron 1, Jessica Chapman 1, Mr. Miliband 1,
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  CSPAN    International Programming    Series/Special.  

    July 6, 2011
    7:00 - 7:30am EDT  

7:00am
>> prime minister david cameron takes questions from members of the house of commons. prior to question time, the house is wrapping up other business. this is live coverage on c-span2. we had a very successful cultivation process and the exchequer is asking tomorrow who have been to northern ireland to see for themselves and we'll be there in the autumn. >> would the secretary of state agree if the northern ireland economy is held through the devolution of corporation taxes
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that must come at a fair, reasonable and acceptable price and not at a price that is detrimental to economic growth in northern ireland? >> well, i'm grateful to the honorable member for the question. every 2.5 percent reduction in corporation tax requires a 60 to 90 million reduction in the block grant. that is .5% of the block grant which many, many economies and very large numbers of businesses consider a very modest investment. >> questions to the prime minister. mr. ronnie campbell. >> mr. speaker. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i'm sure the whole house would wish to pay tribute to scott mcclairen for the royal regiment of scotland. this week i witnessed at first hand the sacrifice of our
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soldiers. i pay tribute to the bravy of this brave soldier. our thoughts will be with his family and friends but we pay tribute and all like him who serve our country so magnificently in afghanistan and elsewhere. >> here, here. >> i had meetings with ministerial members. >> can i agree with what the prime minister said and i have a son in afghanistan. it's a dreaded thing thinking you get that knock on the door that he's lost in action. and our sympathies go with scott's father and mother and that particular team. here, here. >> mr. speaker, that yesterday we give 10 billion pounds to the
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bailout to banks in greece. we give 7 billion pounds to the bailout in ireland. we give 100 billion, this is the british taxpayer, 100 million a year for their -- the quality of the banks in this country for insurance purposes and other purposes, why does the prime minister does not get on his back and go down to the friends of the city? instead -- >> we got the gist. the prime minister. >> first of all, mr. speaker, it is this government who has put a bank levee on the banks so they are paying more in every year than they paid in the bank bonus tax under the last government. in terms of greece, i kept us out of a european bailout of greece. in terms of ireland, i would say that economy is so close and
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integrated with ours it is right we give them support. that, i think, is the right approach but this government is being tough in making sure the banks pay their fair share. >> severe droughts, conflict in food prices have combined viciously in the horn of africa. creating desperate hunger and threatening the lives of millions. with eight agencies short of funds, what is the government doing to help? >> well, it's being extremely careful to help in the supporting crisis where 10 million people are at a threat of starvation. i think it once again demonstrates that we are right to maintain and increase our spending in this difficult -- in this area, difficult as the arguments sometimes are but in spite of the difficulties we have elsewhere and in europe it's nothing like those people facing starvation and death unless we help them. >> ed miliband. >> here, here. >> mr. speaker, can i join in
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paying tribute of highlander battalion in scotland. he served our country and died in the most horrific circumstances and i'm sure the thoughts of the whole house are with his family and friends. >> here, here. >> mr. speaker, the whole country has been appalled by the disclosures, the 7/7 victims the parents of holly wells and jessica chapman and, of course, the phone of millie doweler. how anyone could hack into her phone, listen to her family's frantic messages and delete them giving false hope to those parents are a moral and a disgrace. >> here, here. >> given the gravity what has occurred will the prime minister support the cause for full independent public inquiry to take place as soon as practical until the culture and practices of british newspapers? >> let me be very clear, yes, we
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do need to have a inquiry, possibly inquiries as to what has happened. let us be clear, we're no longer talking about politicians and celebrities. we're talking about murder victims, potentially terrorist victims having their phones hacked into. it is absolutely disgusting at what has taken place and i think everyone in this house and indeed this country will be revolted by what they've heard and what they've seen on their television screens. let me -- if i may, mr. speaker, make a couple of points. first of all, there is -- and people need to know this, a major police investigation underway. it is one of the biggest police investigations currently underway in our country and crucially and i hope members opposite will listen to this. it does not involve police officers who are involved in the original investigation. that clearly didn't get to the truth but i do think it's important that we have inquiries that are public, inquiries that are independent and inquiries that have public confidence it seems to me there are two vital
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issues we need to look into. the first is the original police inquiry and why that didn't get to the bottom of why that has happened and the second is about the behavior of individual people and individual media organizations and as the right honorable gentleman says a wider look into media practices and ethics in this country. clearly, as he says, we cannot start all those -- all that sort of inquiry immediately because you must not jeopardize the police investigation. but it may be possible to start some of that work earlier. i'm very happy to discuss this with him, with other party leaders, with the attorney general and the cabinet secretary to make sure we get this right and that lessons are learned from what has become a disgraceful episode. >> dave miliband. >> let me say to the prime minister that i'm encouraged that he does recognize the need for a full public inquiry into what happened. now, he's right to say that this can only be fully completed after the police investigation has taken its course.
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however, as he said in his answer, that may take some years. it is possible as i think he implied for the prime minister to start the process now so can i make some suggestions in that context. he should immediately appoint a senior figure, potentially a judge to lead this inquiry. make clear it will have the power to call witnesses under oath. and establish clear terms of reference covering a number of key issues. the culture and practices of the industry, the nature of regulation, which is absolutely crucial and also the relationship between the police and the media. i wonder whether he can -- i wonder whether he can just respond on those points? >> i want to respond positively and let me do so. first of all, of the two issues that i mentioned, the conduct of the earlier police inquiry and the broader lessons about ethics in the media, i don't think it is possible to start any form of investigation into the former until the police investigation is completed because i think there would be -- there would be a danger of jeopardizing the
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current police inquiry. i do think responding positively to what he says it may be possible to make a start on other elements. and as i say, i don't want us to rush this decision. i want us to get it right having discussed it with other -- with other party leaders, the attorney general and the cabinet secretary all too often some of these inquiries can be set up all too quickly without thinking through without actually needs to be done. >> mr. speaker, i think the prime minister is implying that this is start now. i think it's very important that it does so. just because we can't do everything, it doesn't mean we can't do anything. and it is very, very important that we do so. and he did actually a year ago to the day actually appoint an inquiry, the gibson inquiry into the treatment by the detainees of the intelligence services with criminal cases still pending. let me go on, mr. speaker to ask him what happens in the in the meantime pending this public inquiry. we have consistently said that
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the bid should be referred to the competition commission and not dealt with in the way that the culture secretary has done. i think the prime minister must realize the public will react with disbelief if next week the decision is taken to go ahead with this deal at the time when news international is subject to a major criminal investigation, and we do not yet know what charges will be laid against. did the b sky bid should now be sent to the commission to have the breathing space that it's required? >> first of all, let me answer his point about gibson because this is a good and fair point. we established the gibson inquiry because it hasn't been able to make much progress until criminal proceedings have been brought to an end and there is a good reason for this. clearly you don't want to jeopardize a police operation which you do so if you start questioning witnesses through a
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public inquiry process at the same time they're being questioned through a police processing. that's the reason for doing it. believe me i want to get on with this issue and the faster we can set up other elements of a inquiry i'll be happy. what we have done here is followed absolutely to the letter the correct legal processes. that is what the government has to do. my right honorable friend the secretary of state is that quasi judicial role. he has to follow that. i note that the leader of the labour party said yesterday that the issue of competition is plurality is a separate issue from the very important issue we're discussing today. what i would say is these processes must be followed properly including by offcom, who have the duty to make a recommendation about fit and proper person. those are the right processes. this government will behave in a proper way. >> mr. miliband.
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>> mr. speaker, i'm afraid that answer was out of touch with lots of people. yeah, yeah >> the prime minister will not understand that this scandal, that the government should in the coming days, in the coming days be making a decision outside of the normal processes for them to take control of one of the biggest media organizations in the country. i know this is difficult for him but i strongly urge him to think again and send his decision to the proper authorities which is the competition commission. and as i say, this would provide breathing space for legitimacy and for the proper decisions to be made. >> i would say to him the decision-making has been through the proper processes and it's right that the government acts legally in every way and that is what has done. one is an issue about morality and ethics and a police investigation that needs to be carried out in the proper way. they have total independence. and the other is the issue about
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plurality and competition which has to act under the law. those are the words he used yesterday and in just 24 hours, he's done a u-turn in order to try and look good in the commons. >> ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, this is not the time for technicalities or low ball -- [laughter] >> we have said consistently throughout this process that this bid should be referred to the competition commission. this is the right way forward. and the prime minister, instead of engaging technicalities he should speak for the country on this issue because this is what people want him to do. i hope he will go off from this question time and think again because in the interest of the media industry and the british public that this is properly referred to the competition commission in the way that all other bids are dealt with. now, what we also know mr. speaker, as well as needing
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a public inquiry, as well as the bskyb competition is that this was not a rogue reporter but a wider systemic pattern of abuses. the public see a major news organization in this country when no one prepares prepared to take responsibility for happened. nobody is denying that millie doweler's phone was hacked and nobody is denying that it happened on the watch on the chief executive officer of paper. will the prime minister join me if he believes people taking responsibility in saying -- that they should take responsibility and consider her position. >> well, first of all, let me deal with this issue of technicalities because i have to say to him, when you're dealing -- when you're dealing with the law, you have to look at the technicalities because there's something called due process that you have to follow. that is necessary for any
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government, and i'm sure he understands that. in terms of news international, every at news international has got to ask themselves some pretty searching questions and everyone at news international is subject to what currently is the largest police investigations underway in this country. what i think is we should let the police do their work. they must follow the evidence, wherever it leads. and if they find people guilty of wrongdoing, they should have no hesitation but in making sure they're prosecuted. >> mr. ed miliband. >> mr. speaker, i don't know from that answer whether he says to the chief executive news international should stand down or not. i am clear she should take responsibility and stand down. and mr. speaker, these events show a systemic set of abuses which demonstrate the use of power without responsibility in our country. it is in the interest of our democracy and the public that these issues are sorted out. with the biggest press scandals in modern times getting worse of the day, i'm afraid he hasn't
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shown the leadership necessary today. he hasn't shown the leadership necessary on bskyb. he hasn't shown the leadership necessary on news international. and isn't it the case, if the public is to have confidence in him, he's got to calm the thing that is most difficult. he's got to accept he made a catastrophic error of judgment by bringing andy callson into the heart of his downing street machine. >> what -- what -- >> order! order! i apologize for interrupting the prime minister. order! the prime minister should not have to shout to be heard and neither for that matter should the leader of the opposition. it's thoroughly disorderly the prime minister will be heard. >> mr. speaker, i take full responsibility for everyone i employ, for everyone i appoint and i take responsibility for everything my government does. what this government is doing is making sure that the fact the
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public and i felt so appalled by what happened, murder victims, terrorist victims who have had their phones hacked. that is why it is important there is a full police investigation with all the powers that they need. that's why it's important. we have those inquiries to get to the bottom of what went wrong and the lessons that need to be learned and that is why we also need to inquire how we improve the ethics and morals of the press in this country and make sure they improve the future. that is what needs to be done and that is what this government is doing and we don't have to take lectures from him about it. >> thank you, mr. speaker, the year nine pupils in my constituency have joined hundreds of other peoples to send my sister to school campaign. will the prime minister add support to this cause and shouldn't his campaign remind us that good education transforms children's lives and their life chances? >> no, i'm delighted to welcome the campaign that she mentioned
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and her personal support for it. the fact is that across our world there are 39 million girls out of school. and even if they're in schools, the gender gaps we still see are appalling. what we're doing in the u.k. with our a budget is we are securing schooling and we'll be able to do it at 2.5% of the cost. this is a good investment for britain, for british taxpayers to make sure we reduce inequality in our world. >> can the prime minister explain whether he thinks that the cost of his nhs reforms set to rise even further we now know with the revelation that a new super quango is going to be created. it might be partly responsible putting at risk services at the popular school in my constituency? >> what we've actually seen since this government has taken office is more than 2,000 more doctors but 4,000 fewer
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managers. and we are cutting bureaucracy by a third. i know they don't like to hear it. but if we'd followed their plans and cut nhs spending, you'd see the number of doctors, the number of nurses, the number of operations going down. and just this morning, we see the figures for the number of diagnostic tests in the u.k. going up. that's because of the investment going in under this government. >> thank you, mr. speaker. will the prime minister be aware of the news this morning that portugal's debt has been downgraded to junk status. does he not agreed that you can't put off difficult decisions and the only plan b is bankruptcy? >> my honorable friend is entirely right. plan b stands for bureaucracy. we can see what governments don't get control of their debt and deficit and we can see the party opposite does not agree with that. >> does the prime minister agree
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with him with the offensive dangerous driving does not cause harm to these victims. sometimes they are left paralyzed and brain damaged. will the prime minister support me and my front bench in increasing the maximum sentence to seven years? >> i know the honorable gentleman speaks of great personal knowledge but not because of a constituency but because he worked as a barrister. death by driving and with the only tier sentence in the case someone was brought to me and someone was damaged in life and the maximum sentence for two years and we're looking at this issue and we're hoping to make progress. >> mr. david morris. >> would the prime minister agree with me that the alleged bailout of the option of at the point billion is not that. if we aren't in the imf, we won't be a global player and also would you agree with me
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that the opposition needy reminding that in the 1970s the imf bailed out their government? >> i know the prime minister will want to deal with the first part of the second but the second part because it was disorderly. >> i absolutely agree with what my honorable friend said yesterday that the labour party oppose our involvement in the imf. britain is a serious global economy. we should take responsibility for serious global issues including through the imf. >> david simpson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the prime minister agree that details of all the weapons and explosives the state commission in northern ireland should be made public as promised? and will he agree to have negotiations with the irish government to move forward to the americans to see that it happens? >> well, the point is the independent international commissioning -- commission on decommissioning did not provide us with an inventory. they were an independent body and this was a decision for them
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to take, difficult i know as that is. they stated, and i quote, we would not quiche in advertently decommissioning events by groups that are actively engaged today nor to detour groups for handing over any arms when they subsequently come to light. this is difficult and we are all having to do in northern ireland and elsewhere in the world difficult things in order to bring conflict to an end and keep conflict to an end and that is what the independent commission report was doing. >> mr. adrian sanders. >> there's a real issue of delay of inquiry for the public have little confidence in the metropolitan police where investigations concerning news international are concerned. can i remind him of the question i asked on the 27th of april. will he have a full judicial inquiry that looks particularly at the link between news international and the metropolitan police? >> clearly, this is a very important issue and my right honorable friend the home secretary has discussed it with the commissioner this morning. and they want to continue with
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the investigation that is underway but let me try and reassure the house and the honorable gentleman about this point because i think even before you get to the point about independent and public inquiries, what the public need to know is that the police are going to go about their job properly in terms of their investigation and so they do need to know this is an investigation completely separate from the previous investigation and as it stands today, it is one of the largest police investigations going on anywhere in our country. >> teresa pierce. >> thank you, mr. speaker. anybody else -- victims of knife crime have increased. on the streets of london we have children traveling knives and other children afraid of their journey to and from school. last friday, a 16 constituent of mine was stabbed to death. two children have been arrested in connection with this. what will the prime minister do to ensure that the mayor of london gets a grip on this problem that was both one of the
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mayor and one of the prime minister's election promises? >> well, the case she raises is an absolutely tragic one and there are too many victims of knife crime particularly amongst young people in our cities particularly in london. what we are doing is creating a new offense with a mandatory prison sentence to send a very clear message to those who carry knives. the offense will apply to those would have knife who threaten and endanger others in a public place. they will send a clear message, if you threaten anyone you go to jail. >> will my right honorable friend agree with me that those who pay back early their student loans are doing the right thing and should be encouraged? if so, how is that consistent with the government's policy which is apparently one to discourage people from paying back early and indeed to penalize them for early replacement of student loans? >> i would urge my honorable friend -- honorable friend to look deeply at what we're proposing.
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we want a progressive system people who earn more and pay more and nobody pays anything until you earn 21,000 and you don't pay back in full until you earn 35,000. people who pay back, say, 3,000 pounds a year as their earning money shouldn't be discouraged because that is in many ways the right thing to do. >> mr. dave b. perkins. >> thank you, mr. speaker. in opposition, the prime minister was clear that his book should be banned. now, last week he said i fell back on exactly the same explanations that he refused to accept when they were given to him by the previous prime minister. what's changed? >> well, what we have done is we've banned -- we have banned the book and we have taken action. as my right honorable friend the lord chancellor will hastily testify, it is endlessly frustrating that we are subject to so many legal requirements. but i'm afraid we have to be a government under the law.
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>> mr. speaker? >> the house, order! the house will want to hear robert. >> thank you, mr. speaker. given the olympics and the diamond jubilee next year, is the prime minister is aware the immigration special branch officers are concerned that the common area illegal immigrants and islamists into the country without their passports being checked. will he take urgent steps take control over this immediately. >> what i would say, passport-free travel between the u.k., the crown dependencies and the republic of ireland, that's been in place for many years and it does offer some real economic and social benefits. i do accept these routes can be opened to abuse and we're determined to resolve this. the u.k. border agency is working very closely with ireland and others to make sure it happens but we want to try to do this without disadvantaging people who have been able to take advantage of this up until
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now. >> the community secretary and the dwp committee have both said both british employees should employ british workers so will the prime minister stop the dwp offshoring existing jobs offsite to bangalore? >> i will look closely at the case that she makes, but every government -- >> order! i want to hear the prime minister's answer. so does the house. the prime minister. >> what we need to do is make sure our welfare reforms are encouraging those people who sit on welfare who could work actually go out to work. what we had under the party opposite, yes, economic growth but 5 million working-age people living on benefits. that's not good enough and we're
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going to change it. >> mr. andrew bingham. >> thank you, mr. speaker. would the prime minister agree with me that birthing centers in royal areas provide a valuable and irreplaceable service to their local communities and every effort should be made to retain and i and hundreds of my constituents are sending to dar shire county as they consider. what we want to see is maternity choices where they give birth, whether that's a community center or a district general hospital where they have all the paraphernalia. it should be a choice made by them with a gp and others for what's right for their needs. >> this is margaret beckett. >> is the prime minister aware when yesterday bombardier had to announce the redundancy of skilled engineers and designers the public made public for the first time that they had offered to establish a new academy in this country for the design and manufacturer of cars for the next generation of high-speed trains for this country and across the world a global center of excellence, more jobs and
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jobs with even higher skills. he won't have had time to familiarize himself with the detail of that but will he undertake to look into it with care to give substance to the commitment he made in my constituency to british manufacturing? >> i will look very carefully at what the right honorable lady has said about this issue. let me just say this because, obviously, i want to see more british jobs in manufacturing. indeed, as we are seeing across our country, but in case of the bomb -- in the case of bombardier train contract the procurement process was designed and initiated by the government of which she was a part. i have to say we are bound by the criteria that they set out and, therefore, we have to continue with the decision that's been made according to the criteria. now, separately we are setting out to ask the question, what more can we do within the current rules to make sure we boost economy and not have situations like this in the